This is your overview of news from Monday, July 6, 2020. The Slovak Spectator team is publishing the daily digest with the overview of the most important news every weekday for free. If you want to support our work on news you can trust, please, consider buying our online subscription.
For a weekly overview with comments, take a look at the latest Last Week in Slovakia published this afternoon.
Police detained corruption suspect Bödör, but court sets him free
The police detained Norbert Bödör on the evening of July 3, an alleged Smer sponsor who had been in contact with mobster Marian Kočner, according to the Threema messages found on the latter’s phone during the investigation of the Ján Kuciak murder, but he did not spend much time behind bars.
The Specialised Criminal Court released him on July 5, dismissing the prosecutor’s proposal to take him into custody.
The prosecutor appealed the verdict, and the Supreme Court will discuss the appeal on July 9, the police wrote on Facebook.
Bödör was detained in connection with the Dobytkár (Stock Farmer) police operation, an investigation into one of the largest corruption affairs in Slovakia’s history, involving suspected bribes and money laundering worth more than €10 million. He has been charged with money laundering.
With wooden spoons against abortions
Several towns and cities across Slovakia and abroad will host protests against legislative proposals aimed on suppressing sexual and reproductive rights. They will take place on July 7, the same day the parliament convenes a session at which these proposals are expected to be discussed.
Currently, there are four drafts dealing with the issue.
“We are going to take out wooden spoons, pans, pots and brooms and declare civil disobedience,” the organisers wrote on Facebook.
In Bratislava, the event starts at 17:30 in the SNP Square, with organisers encouraging the participants to bring their wooden spoons. It will also be held in Košice, Banská Bystrica, Liptovský Mikuláš, and abroad in Prague and Manchester.
Attendees are asked to wear masks or face coverings and practice social distancing. Those experiencing symptoms similar to the coronavirus are asked not to participate.
Ryanair returns after the coronavirus
The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair restored regular flights from the Bratislava airport, nearly four months after the ban was imposed on civilian flights in mid-March.
The first planes to Burgas (Bulgaria) and Paphos (Cyprus) were dispatched on July 4, with flights to Thessaloniki (Greece) and Corfu (Greece) following on July 6 and July 7, respectively.
The carrier will continue restoring its regular flights in the coming days. Some, especially those to the UK, remain downed as the borders are still closed.
In other news
- Slovakia opened its borders to several countries on July 6. However, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has warned against travelling to certain territories, including the Silesia region in Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as the Czech capital of Prague, and the areas around Zagreb and Osijek in Croatia.
- Only 50 COVID-19 tests were carried out in Slovakia on July 5, 2020, of which one was positive. Recently, the Orava region in northern Slovakia seems to be a new hot spot.
- The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) has issued first-level warnings for several districts in Slovakia. The southwestern Slovakia should prepare for strong wind, with warning being in place from 19:00 on July 6 to 3:00 on July 7. At the same time, the first-level warning against thunderstorms was issued for north and eastern Slovakia, starting on July 6 at 16:00 and expiring on July 7 at 3:00.
- A section of the cross-country D1 highway in Bratislava, between the Prístavný Bridge and Petržalka-Pečňa, will be partially closed until August 31, due to the repair works and the exchange of some bridge constructions. (SITA)
- The Defence Ministry did not breach the law when procuring the Spike anti-tank missile system. It used the exception that is in compliance with the public procurement law, the Public Procurement Office reported. (TASR)
- Viliam Mišenka, who was detained near Vienna on July 2, was taken to pre-trial detention on July 4. The pre-trial detention precedes a direct extradition to Slovakia. The court is now checking whether Mišenka has Austrian citizenship. (TASR)
- The gradual easing of COVID-19 measures in the second half of the month was reflected in month-on-month increases in turnover in selected trade activities in May 2020, but these growths did not return turnover to pre-COVID-19 levels. In all the main activities of internal trade, the level of turnover was lower than a year ago in May 2019, from 81.6 percent (accommodation) to 8.9 percent (retail trade). In the annual comparison, only selected partial activities reported higher turnover, e.g. repair and maintenance of motor vehicles, retail sale in non-specialised stores (hypermarkets and supermarkets) or retail sale of other household goods in specialised stores, the Statistics Office informed. Ľubomír Koršňák, analyst with UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, expects the retail revenues to return to pre-crisis levels only in 2022.
- The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), country’s central bank, has changed conditions for banks to create their own capital. As of August, they will not be required to hold more capital, while the countercyclical capital buffer will drop to 1 percent, instead of the planned increase to 2 percent. The measure should support lending and the recovery of Slovak economy.
- Fans of the Slovan Bratislava football club raised a banner saying White Lives Matter during the July 4 match against Michalovce. The banner with a racist undertone, displayed in the section where the Ultras fans sit, was a response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Meanwhile, there were several players with different skin colour playing for Slovakia in the match. (SME)
Also on Spectator.sk today:
6. Jul 2020 at 17:51 | Compiled by Spectator staff